J and I are going through Fertility Treatments. I capitalize it as if it's a proper noun, a holiday, a day for turkey and apple pie. It's more like Veterans Day. Not a day for picnics or presents, but a somber time of reflection. We have already done one cycle of IUI (Intra-Uterine-Insemination - or artificial insemination for those of you not in the know - which was me, two months ago) which wasn't successful, and are now going on to our second cycle now. Which means I'm taking Clomid, progesterone, and J gets to give me an injection in my butt. We really know how to keep the romance alive, I tell you.
It's an adjustment, this move into full on fertility work. It makes the possibility that we may not be able to have children so much more real. Up until now, it was always theoretical. "If we lose another baby, we'll start the adoption process." Or, "if I can't get pregnant by the time I'm 37 we'll start the adoption process." I never really expected either of those things to come true, if I'm honest with myself. It was something I hung on to, like an ace I never expected to need. And yet, with each unsuccessful cycle, we get closer to the possibility that I might not actually ever go through a successful pregnancy ending with delivering a living baby.
It's made me sad, in a more profound way than I have been up until now. Because I never really doubted that we would figure it out and be able to have kids. And while I know that even if we do start adoption and stop fertility treatments I could still get pregnant later in life, the odds of that happening keep getting smaller.
IUI tends to work in 3-4 cycles if it's going to work at all. We are just starting the second cycle. Clomid on days 3-7 of my cycle ($20). Day 12 ultrasound to see if my follicles are growing ($250). Injection 36 hours before IUI ($98). Sperm washing at the lab and Insemination on Day 14 ($600). Blood test on Day 21 to see if I ovulated ($115). Progesterone days 16-30 ($300). You know I could buy a Louis Vuitton bag for what I will spend this month on fertility treatments? And yet there's a lady in the grocery store with six kids hanging off her. #notfair
But who said life was fair, right? I made the decision to wait until I was older to start trying for a baby, and yes, we may have had some worse luck than others, but I'm guessing that if I had gotten married and started having kids when I was 24, things would look very different now. Well, I'd have a teenager for one thing. That would be weird. I did what I did and it got me to where I am right now, and I don't really wish I was anywhere else. Even in our sadness, J and I are still best friends, and we still laugh every morning.
I know I don't want to do IVF. At least not now. It's too invasive. There are too many drugs, and too many hormones, and there are too many kids in the world who need good homes for us to spend money and energy on IVF. So one way or another, all this uncertainty will end this fall. We will either become pregnant, or we will start researching adoption. Either way, it will be good to have the facts, and be able to make a plan based on them.
For now, we just embrace the uncertainty and keep our fingers crossed.